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NATO Chief of Staff: Ukrainian Membership in Alliance Possible if Territory Ceded, Kyiv Officials Slam “Absolutely Unacceptable” Comments

A nudge in the NATO direction:

Speaking to Norwegian media earlier today, Stian Jenssen, Chief of Staff to NATO’s Secretary General alluded to the fact that Kyiv may have a route into membership with the alliance. “I think that a solution could be for Ukraine to give up territory and get NATO membership in return,” continuing, “It must be up to Ukraine to decide when and on what terms they want to negotiate.” Despite this olive branch of sorts, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has continuously pushed that Ukraine shall not cave to NATO pressure on the matter, stating that as part of a 10-point peace plan, Ukrainian borders must be restored as they were pre-invasion. 

 

All parties weigh in: 

According to Turkish media, Anadolu Agency, the alliance scrambled to reaffirm its support, “We fully support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as NATO leaders reaffirmed at the Vilnius Summit in July. We will continue to support Ukraine as long as necessary, and we are committed to achieving a just and lasting peace.” Despite the attempt at reassurance, officials from the two warring parties also made statements, with Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev stating on Twitter, “A new idea for Ukraine has emerged from the North Atlantic Alliance office: Ukraine will be able to join NATO if it gives up the disputed territories. It does look like an interesting idea. The only problem is that all of – supposedly – their territories are highly disputable. And to enter the bloc, the Kiev authorities will have to give up even Kiev itself, the capital of Ancient Rus.” 

 

Business as usual: 

This statement further highlights that in spite of NATO’s hope for a cessation of hostilities, Russia’s foreign policy goals have remained unsurprisingly unchanged. Moreover, Ukrainian Presidential Advisor, Mykhailo Podolyak slammed the ‘ridiculous’ comments “Trading territory for a NATO Umbrella? It is ridiculous. That means deliberately choosing the defeat of democracy, encouraging a global criminal, preserving the Russian regime, destroying international law, and passing the war on to other generations.” Continuing, “Murderers should not be encouraged by appalling indulgences.” 

In the wider context, the comments are interesting, especially in light of a Monday announcement by The Pentagon of the granting of another $200 million Dollar security assistance package to Ukraine. The package largely contains additional munitions, in addition to 37 tactical vehicles, optically-tracked missiles, HIMAR ammunition, 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds, spare parts, and anti-armour systems. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand. As the Africa Desk Chief for Atlas, her expertise spans conflict, politics, and history. She is also the Editor for The ModernInsurgent and has interests in yoga and meditation.

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